James D. Finch


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What Went Wrong? Explaining Overall Dialogue Quality through Utterance-Level Impacts
James D. Finch | Sarah E. Finch | Jinho D. Choi
Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Conversational AI

Improving user experience of a dialogue system often requires intensive developer effort to read conversation logs, run statistical analyses, and intuit the relative importance of system shortcomings. This paper presents a novel approach to automated analysis of conversation logs that learns the relationship between user-system interactions and overall dialogue quality. Unlike prior work on utterance-level quality prediction, our approach learns the impact of each interaction from the overall user rating without utterance-level annotation, allowing resultant model conclusions to be derived on the basis of empirical evidence and at low cost. Our model identifies interactions that have a strong correlation with the overall dialogue quality in a chatbot setting. Experiments show that the automated analysis from our model agrees with expert judgments, making this work the first to show that such weakly-supervised learning of utterance-level quality prediction is highly achievable.


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Emora STDM: A Versatile Framework for Innovative Dialogue System Development
James D. Finch | Jinho D. Choi
Proceedings of the 21th Annual Meeting of the Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue

This demo paper presents Emora STDM (State Transition Dialogue Manager), a dialogue system development framework that provides novel workflows for rapid prototyping of chat-based dialogue managers as well as collaborative development of complex interactions. Our framework caters to a wide range of expertise levels by supporting interoperability between two popular approaches, state machine and information state, to dialogue management. Our Natural Language Expression package allows seamless integration of pattern matching, custom NLP modules, and database querying, that makes the workflows much more efficient. As a user study, we adopt this framework to an interdisciplinary undergraduate course where students with both technical and non-technical backgrounds are able to develop creative dialogue managers in a short period of time.